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Sharapova shares insights on entrepreneurship in WSJ webinar

Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova partnered with the Wall Street Journal to discuss her business ventures both during her professional tennis career, and what she plans on doing in retirement.

By WTA Staff

Having hung up her tennis racquets for good earlier this year, Maria Sharapova showcased her business acumen in an online webinar in partnership with the Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ Future of Everything Festival, held annually in the spring, typically offers attendees the opportunity to attend in-person workshops and question-and-answer sessions with celebrities, business leaders and other movers and shakers in the space.

Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, this year's presentations are being held completely virtually, for free, and Sharapova joined WSJ sports columnist Jason Gay for the inaugural interview and Q&A session of the webinar series on Tuesday.

The Russian spoke about some of her current and future business ventures, and how they have been affected by the current climate. She discussed her corporate partnerships as an athlete, her candy company Sugarpova, and her aspirations of working in architecture, and in wellness facilities at hotels, resorts and spas.

"In hindsight, [my retirement] was great timing, because I'd be sitting here saying, 'When do I train?', 'What do I train for?' There are so many question marks around sport in general," Sharapova said.

"From my perspective... it's been really nice to have this moment of reflection, to look back at the 28 years of playing this one little sport, and what it meant to me, and recollecting, and also having the chance to form the foundation of the future.

"As I think of the past and how long it took me to become a champion in my sport — it took me well over 10 years just to play a first professional tournament — so whatever I might choose to do next... it will take time, and I'm using this time at home to work on that and build on that.

"I always carry a big-picture frame of mind because when I was growing up and I'd have tough losses, my father would say, 'It's not a sprint. It's a marathon.' and although I knew what my life and my schedule would look like in sport, your trajectory is never predicted.

"You can work as hard as you can, you can be a very talented athlete, but you take one wrong turn, and you end up at the end of you career. I know what it's like to go through those peaks and valleys.

"As I was looking to my future and realizing as a female, even though when I was a little girl, I wanted to play this sport for the rest of my life... I realized, probably in my late teens, that there would be other things in my life that I would have an interest in.

"I was always working towards what the future after tennis might look like."

Discussing the evolution of her personal brand, the five-time Grand Slam champion discussed her career partnerships with Nike, highlighting how it began when she was 11 years old, and her decade-long association with Evian.

"The relationship-building is one of the most incredible assets that I've gained along this journey," she said.

"The relationship aspect has been incredibly valuable, and I continue to do that with the new partnerships I've gained and investments that I've made at this point in my career. The building of that is so important.

"I've grown and I've learned, and I've really gotten an MBA on the job... I love it. I love the challenge of it. I think there are a lot of elements of my sport that I take into the world of business, and I'm still learning every single day."

Sharapova also discussed how she started her candy line, Sugarpova, seven years ago, and how the brand has expanded from exclusively gummy candies to include chocolate offerings, and a new line of all-natural gummy candies that were released last year.

"When I had shoulder surgery when I was 21 years old... I really wanted to spend my time growing something in a category that I was passionate about," she said.

"I grew up in my grandmother's kitchen. I enjoyed a sweet treat when I had a good practice, it was the first thing that I would ask my parents for.

"It is slightly strange, but I think I've had a good understanding of what it means to be diligent and professional, taking care of your body and having a healthy lifestyle.

"But I have a saying that I use in my life: moderation in moderation. Just the right amount. just a little bit of this, not too much of that. That's kind of how I see sweets and how I see indulgence and treating yourself."

Ultimately, Sharapova revealed how the characteristics that took her to success on the court have led to opportunities that educated her off of it, and set her up for success in her post-tennis life.

"I was always the best when I woke up and I had one single priority that I knew I had to accomplish during the day," she said.

"When I would come off the court, that was the time when I couldn't commit any more mental or physical effort... for that time after I prioritized that, and gave out all the physical movements and intensity that I could, I was very eager to learn and be curious about other things.

"I didn't know where it would take me, and I didn't exactly know what my other passions would be, but it was important to me because it kept my mind fresh when I'd be back on the court.

"I think if I spent 24 hours hearing, listening and watching everything about the game, that maybe would've put a little more pressure [on me], but because I had other interests and curiosities, I think it really helped me be better focused when I went on the court every single day."

 

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‘Billions’ Season 5 Episode 7: What is Maria Sharapova doing with Axe again, will he steal Wendy from Tanner?

Episode 7 'The Limitless Sh*t' begins with the dinner, where Axe brings Maria Sharapova along after she made a cameo in Season 3

By Jyotsna Basotia
Published on : 17:01 PST, Jun 14, 2020

Spoilers for 'Billions' Season 5 Episode 7 'The Limitless Sh*t'

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911 Love: Maria Sharapova

Tennis superstar Maria Sharapova loves speed, power, and technique behind the wheel, too. And as the winner of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, she has driven off the court in a 911 three times.

Yevgeny Kafelnikov’s father gave Sharapova her first racket when she was four, and she caught Martina Navratilova’s attention just two years later. In 2005 Sharapova, eighteen at the time, took first place in the world rankings. She has won every Grand Slam—some of them multiple times.

What is love?
A feeling somewhere in between hope and reality.

How are you?
Thinking of the future, reminiscing on the past. But trying to stay in the present.

How would you describe the Porsche 911 in a nutshell?
Worth every penny.

Which very simple things can make you very happy?
The first morning cup of coffee—extra foam.
And handmade fresh pasta. Food makes me very happy.

What would you never do in a 911?
Call my grandparents. They wouldn’t be able to hear me.

What’s your favorite road?
Pacific Coast Highway in California.

What can distract you?
Daydreaming.

Three things you would take to a deserted island?
A Wi-Fi connection, a blender to make coconut smoothies, and optimism.

Whom or what do you admire?
Focus, creativity, and fearlessness.

What on a 911 could you do without?
Because of my height, the squat to get into the car.

And what couldn’t you?
The freedom you feel when you press that gas pedal.

What music did you wake up to this morning?
Max Richter.

Your favorite film?
Something’s Gotta Give.

Your favorite book?
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.

Your latest social media post?
On Instagram, I shared a moment from my video conference call with 150 of my fans.

Your most treasured possession?
My family.

Coffee or tea?
Coffee in the morning, tea around 3 p.m.

The 911 moment of your life?
Driving the 911 GT2 RS with Mark Webber on a track.
Unforgettable.

Your best advice?
Don’t give up.

What would no one expect of you?
My very honest opinion.

 

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Maria Sharapova's Father's Day Gift List Includes This Clever Workout Tool

By Savannah Sitton
June 17, 2020

Maria Sharapova's resume is a tough one to top. The five-time Grand Slam champion, Olympic medallist, winner of Wimbledon and now CEO of her own candy line, Sugarpova. But like many other busy entrepreneurs, quarantine has ushered in a change of pace. The athlete and business woman is at home with her parents in Los Angeles. And to celebrate Father's Day this year, Maria Sharapova is taking a little extra time to honor and celebrate her family.

n Feb. of this year, the superstar athlete announced her retirement from the sport. "We haven’t had a proper Father’s Day celebration in many years because I was typically competing in Europe during this time," she shared admitting that this year is a much welcomed change of pace. "It will be a casual at-home celebration with a few of his favorite dishes and some gifts my mom and I put together."

Having played pro-level tennis for most of her life, Sharapova is now shifting her focus to her candy business, a venture that was primed from her father rewarding her with lollipops and chocolate after tennis practices as a little girl. "It stood out to me then–and still today–that there’s no reason why hard work can’t be rewarded with a little sweet treat."

But candy isn't the only thing on her dad's gift list this year. Sharapova's interest in fitness translates through generations as well. And, while his style is more laid-back, "he’s not much of a fashion connoisseur," she notes, comfortable, practicle items are the way to go. Read on for her gift ideas to consider for the dads in your life.

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Read the whole article:

 

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#GetCreativeWithPorsche: cooking with Maria Sharapova

06/25/2020

If tennis and cars are the first two loves of five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova, food comes a close third. In the latest instalment of the #GetCreativeWithPorsche series she shares how to make some of her favourite dishes.

Like so many elite athletes, the disciplines instilled over a long career at the top of her sport have had a lasting effect on tennis star Maria Sharapova. The Porsche Brand Ambassador, who hails from Russia, pursues a high energy and healthy lifestyle, with the occasional foray into foodie indulgence.

“There are many lessons I have taken away from my career and a good, healthy diet is certainly one of them,” says Sharapova, who’s spent the last few weeks at her home in Los Angeles. “I’ve always been someone who takes good care of their body. But it doesn’t matter if you’re a professional athlete or you work in an office, what you put into your body is always going to be extremely important.”

“I start my day really healthy,” she explains. “I drink a lot of water with lemon to being with – I’ve done that throughout my career – then I have a green smoothie with kale, lemon, spinach and sometimes a little apple or avocado. Usually with some rye toast. Then I just see how I feel during the day.”

She avoids carbs if exercise isn’t on the agenda, and sticks instead to lean protein. “There’s always an element of nutrition in food for me, despite not playing professional sport at the moment. Usually I travel a lot and I’m always in different time zones, so taking care of my body is a huge part of staying healthy. I’m certainly not as strict these days, not always thinking ‘food for fuel’ like when I was playing, but is still has an impact.”

With international travel curtailed of late, Sharapova has been racking up the miles closer to home, either in her 911 Turbo S or Cayenne. Combining her love of cars and food, she has been driving out to support local shops and takeaways that have been feeling the pinch during the pandemic. “We’ve been up the coast on the Pacific Coast Highway, which has been beautiful. There’s actually so much to gain from this time, seeing things from the car and being in your own little world with your family. For my birthday recently we drove to Malibu and ate takeaway lobster rolls on the beach,“ she reveals.

Today, cooking is a means of relaxing for Sharapova, whose weekly menu leans heavily on her Russian roots. Hearty soups and simple salads, soured cream, radishes and herbs, it’s the unfussy fair of her homeland and something she continues to explore. Lockdown is even opening up some new avenues for the former world number one, who has dusted off a previously overlooked kitchen accessory. “Someone gave me an ice cream machine a few years ago that I thought we would never use. But with all this extra time on our hands I pulled that bad boy out and made my own ice cream for the first time. It was surprisingly good. Any time I make something and get decent feedback I’m like ‘Ooh thanks. I’ve got game!’”

To encourage fans to extend their own repertoires, Sharapova shares some of her favourite recipes below.

Russian Borscht

“My mum taught me everything I know about cooking and we’ve spent a lot of time in the kitchen together, especially in recent weeks. One of our favourite dishes to make is Borscht – a very traditional, chunky beetroot soup. It takes a bit of time to prepare – and time is something I don’t usually have a lot of – but it is definitely worth the work. It’s really healthy and filling – perfect for cold evenings. And it’s a fantastic colour.

“Start by dicing one onion, two carrots and two beets and then sauté them in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil with two cloves of finely chopped garlic for two or three minutes. Add two litres of vegetable stock, two diced potatoes and half a small cabbage, put the lid on the pot and cook on a medium to high heat for 10 minutes. If I have some to hand, I’ll add a couple of bay leaves at this stage for extra flavour.

“Next, add two tablespoons each of freshly squeezed lemon juice, tomato purée and chopped dill and season the pot really well with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on a medium to high heat for five more minutes, before turning the heat down and letting it simmer. Check it after 15 minutes to see if everything has softened – if it has, it’s ready to go.

“Back home we eat this all year round and at any time of day, but I like mine best when it’s cold and rainy outside. With a chunk of fresh bread and a dollop of sour cream on top it’s a nutritious meal and it keeps well in the fridge which is great when your schedule picks up.”

Russian Vinaigrette Salad

“This is a real favourite of mine from back home and is made with potatoes and beetroot and dressed really simply with lemon juice, olive oil, parsley and some salt and pepper. It’s super-easy, full of flavour and you can tweak the recipe to add in carrot and onion for a slight twist.

“I’ve always taken care of my body but it doesn’t matter if you’re a professional athlete or you work in an office, how you fuel your days is so important if you want to feel full of energy. This is a clean way to pack plenty of nutrients in and it’s so easy to prepare.

“Start by putting three peeled beets on to boil and cook until you can pierce them with a knife – it can take up to an hour so if you’re in a hurry use pre-cooked beetroot. In a separate pan, boil three peeled potatoes and three peeled carrots, until they’re soft, but not mushy. Drain the vegetables and leave them to cool before dicing them.

“Finely chop a small onion and combine everything in a bowl with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, a dash of white vinegar, lashings of lemon juice and some freshly chopped parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste, and you’re good to go.”

Russian Honey Cake

“Being diligent about the choices you make around food, while allowing yourself something special every once in a while, is so important. I know what’s good and what isn’t. And one thing’s for sure, I don’t go hungry.

“We made Russian Honey Cake for my birthday recently and it’s a big favourite of mine. The layers can be fiddly and it takes a lot of time to put it all together but if you’re up for the challenge there are some good recipes online – some easier than others – and the results are show-stopping. My mum’s recipe is a family secret – she won’t even give it to me! – but here’s one of the simpler ones I like.

“Heat 270g of honey, 80g of butter and 120g of caster sugar in a saucepan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Take care that it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in a couple of beaten eggs. Keep the movement up – you need to whisk constantly so that the eggs don’t cook, which happened to me the first time I attempted this.

“At the same time, you can bake all the bits you trimmed off when you were cutting your circles out. Save these because when they’ve cooled you can whiz them up in a food processor to sprinkle on the top of the finished cake.”

“To make the creamy filling, whisk 250ml of double cream until it’s forming little peaks. Whip up 600ml (a pint) of sour cream with 80g of icing sugar, then fold your whipped cream into this mixture, along with three or four tablespoons of honey, depending on how sweet you want it to be.

“The fun bit starts now: spread a few spoons of the filling on your first baked circle, and place another on top. Repeat the process until you’ve used up all your pieces. Add a final layer of mixture to the top of the cake and then sprinkle with the processed cake crumbs, mixed with finely chopped nuts. I’m afraid you have to let it set in the fridge for a few hours before you can tuck in, but it’s worth the wait, I promise.”

 

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